Pele expo hope for Bahrain 

By Geoffrey Bew

AN exhibition celebrating the achievements of football legend and three-times World Cup winner Pele could visit Bahrain next year. Organisers are keen to bring the display - a venture involving four Brazilian businessmen - to the country as part of a tour of the Gulf.

They are due to arrive in Dubai on Friday to finalise the details of the exhibition's visit to the UAE and Saudi Arabia and are keen to meet officials from Bahrain to see if they are also interested in hosting the event.

Pele Museum partner Romeu Fadul said it is anticipated the exhibition will stay in Dubai for 60 days, before switching to Saudi for another 50 days.

He said it was then hoped the event would visit Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait, before being shown in South America.

Pele, who has won numerous awards for his contribution to the game, is widely recognised as one of the greatest players to have lived.

The exhibition includes 200 personal pieces of memorabilia collected from throughout his 21-year career, including trophies and medals, football shirts and boots, celebration flags, balls, special gifts, documents and other honours.

Pele scored 1,281 goals in 1,363 official matches and remains the youngest winner of football's biggest prize, the World Cup, after lifting the trophy at 17.

After hanging up his boots he became an ambassador for the game and has worked for children's welfare and health organisations.

He was also Brazil's Sports Minister for four years from 1994 and later held a position on FIFA's Football Committee.

"Bahrain loves football and this will be a good thing for tourists as people all over the world know Pele," said Mr Fadul.

"It is a new exhibition that has never been shown anywhere in the world.

"It is a personal collection from Pele featuring items that were in his house."

Pele had previously visited Bahrain in the 1970s and early 1980s.

The most memorable visit was in 1973 when the striker and his Brazilian team Santos played an exhibition match against Bahrain's national team, which ended in 7 to 1 for Brazil.

The match is also remembered for Bahraini referee Ibrahim Al Doy, who gave Pele a yellow card.

During his visits, the footballer was also welcomed by a number of top officials and Bahraini players.

A General Organisation for Youth and Sport spokesman was not aware of the exhibition and declined to comment on whether officials would be happy to host the event until more details were known. [email protected]

©  Gulf Daily News